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It is time to bring about a change of direction in Israel

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JCall launched the Call to Reason in May 2010, one year after Benyamin Netanyahu came back to power, in order to end the Occupation and save the Two State Solution. Since then, under the leadership of successive right coalitions, not only that issue is not on the agenda any more, but we see a slow deterioration of the internal political climate resulting in threats on the Israeli democracy. This is the reason why we hope that the next elections will lead to a change of direction in the country and we have listed ten good reasons to do it:

  • Amend “the Nation-State Law” in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence in order to allow every Israeli citizen, whatever his ethnic origin or religion may be, to identify with his country and not feel rejected. A new government should also suppress or amend the other laws recently voted that endangered the Israeli democratic model, and guarantee the independence of the Supreme Court and the freedom of expression.
  • Put ethics back at the heart of the public debate, in the spirit of the prophets’ heritage the Founding Fathers of this State wanted to be linked with. Never forget that “we were slaves in Egypt”: that is exactly what the government is doing right now by expelling children born in Israel and their parents who were undocumented immigrants. Fight against corruption, prohibit indicted candidates to be elected and appointed to the Public Service.
  • Reduce the increasing social inequalities that have changed Israel into one of the most inegalitarian countries within the OECD, and stop leading the country by focusing on the interest of a few families.
  • Give identical means for the development of all the cities of the country, regardless of the identity of their population and of their specific location, instead of privileging the settlements at the expense of the periphery of the country, as they do today.
  • Fight against the climate of intolerance prevailing too often in the public debate, opposing communities: seculars against religious, orientals against ashkenazim, Jews against Arabs, right against left… a climate leading sometimes to violent actions. Rather, develop values of tolerance, and prevent  any component of the nation from imposing its beliefs upon another one.
  • Never favour the religious conception of Orthodox Jews over that of the liberals, guided by electoral calculations; a choice which might lead to a break-up with most Diaspora Jews, especially American Jews.
  • Search actively with the Palestinians an agreement on the basis of Two States which will end the Occupation and guarantee the future of Israel as a Jewish AND democratic State, and reject the annexation plans of a part of the West Bank that threaten the security of the country.
  • Change the image of Israel on the international scene and understand that the best “Hasbara” (explanation of the Israeli politics) does not consist in denying entry to the country to opponents because of their opinions, but on the contrary, in exposing the situation of the country in all its complexity.
  • Never interfere like today in the politics of the United States, the most important strategic ally of Israel, by supporting openly the Republican party against the Democratic party, a perilous choice for the future, which embarrasses the majority of American Jews who are Democrats.
  • Never support populist regimes the leaders of which support or have supported openly antisemitic opinions, like Jaroslaw Kaczyński in Poland, Victor Orban in Hungary or the Brazilian President, Bolsonaro…at the expense of European countries with which Israel shares identical values of liberal democracy.

All the more reason to hope that these elections will mark the end of the Netanyahu era !

 

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